Mauritius is a paradise island in the Indian Ocean, located about 2000 kilometers off the coast of the African continent and 900 kilometers from Madagascar. Together with Reunion and Rodrigues, it belongs to the Mascarenhas Archipelago. “God created Mauritius first, and then made a copy which he called Heaven,” said Mark Twain once and it’s entirely possible he was right. Numerous tourists are tempted by the stunning nature and gorgeous beaches. Some just dream of sunbathing and strolling around the wonderful nature parks, but many go to Mauritius to dive in the cobalt-blue waters surrounding the island and witness the bustling, colorful marine life. Scuba diving in Mauritius is fabulous and whether you’ve already discovered many seas and search for the next destination, or you just begin your underwater adventure, it’s a perfect place to do so.
Top Sites for Scuba Diving in Mauritius
Dive sites are strewn all around the coastline, but the west coast of the island is the best choice, especially if you’re a novice. Because of the strong currents and the southeasterly trade winds, diving in some places along the east and south coast may be dangerous. Keep it in mind when you book a place to stay.
One of the favorite destinations is the Cathedral situated off the Flic en Flac, a lovely seaside village with a long white-sand beach. The Cathedral is a vast cave, beginning at 18 meters and sharply dropping down to approximately 30 meters. The main cavern is illuminated by shafts of light which gives it the cathedral-like, light look. The Whale Rock is a favorite site as well. This big rock, reminding a whale because of its shape, lies underwater on the top of Point aux Cannoniers. Real whales can also be seen in the area during winter months, so the name is doubly matched. Roche Zozo is one of the top sites on the east of the island and can be reached from Mahebourg and the Blue Bay. It’s a spectacular seascape with canyons, tunnels and a huge rock pinnacle. Like many spots in the east of Mauritius, this one is also recommended for experienced divers. On the Southwest of the island, there’s the Rempart Serpent, which means “Snake Reef.” It bends like a snake indeed, because of the seaweeds on top of it that sway as the water moves. The curved reef is approximately 100 meters long, 20 meters deep and truly mesmerizing with its colorful, tropical inhabitants.
There’s even more in the waters of Mauritius than the exotic variety of fish and corals. Several shipwrecks dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries can be found, as well as boats that sunk recently. One of them is the HMS Sirius slumped at the end of 18th century. It lies 20-25 meters underwater nearby Mahebourg. The Djabeda, located in the area of Round Island and the North Islands, is a wreck of a Japanese fishing boat that sunk in 1998. It’s usually full of smaller fish and occasionally visited by dolphins, sharks or barracudas. The Silver Star Wreck is one of the most known sites on the north coast. It’s a wreck of an old fishing boat sunk in the 1990s. Its interior is accessible, so you take a closer look at the ship and brightly-colored fish inside of it.
The Marine Life
The marine life is incredibly varied, making scuba diving in Mauritius a colorful, fascinating experience. Almost the whole island is encircled by a barrier coral reef sheltering sponges, sea anemones and various species of fish. Damselfish, Boxfish, Trumpet, parrot fish, sweetlips, angelfish, clownfish, clown fish, groupers, wrasses and moray eels are only a few of many fish you may brush shoulders with while scuba diving in Mauritius.
How to Start
If you haven’t tried diving before, but you want to do it during your trip to Mauritius, choose a hotel or a resort offering regular introductory dive, allowing you to make the first try in a pool with the scuba equipment. You can also contact one of the dive centers, such as the Ocean Spirit Diving Center in Péreybère or Tamarin Ocean Pro Diving in Tamarin. Over 20 centers are registered with the Mauritius Scuba Diving Association. Some of them are independent operators, while others belong to hotels.
With its fantastic marine life and perfect climate (you can dive all year long), Mauritius is the location for scuba divers. If you wonder where to go for your next adventure, Mauritius might be the answer.